THE BIRTH OF JESUS: FACT AND FALLACY
Roger D. Campbell
In order to live and die for sinners, the Word became
flesh and dwelt among men (John 1:14). The Christs
birth was a necessary part of the Godheads plan to save the
lost. If you and I want to learn what God says about the birth of
Jesus, then we need to read what the Bible says. When it comes to
our Lords birth, we must separate fact from
Fact: Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea
(Matt. 2:1), just as the prophet Micah had prophesied (Micah
Fallacy: Jesus was born in Jerusalem. Thats what
the Book of Mormon says (Alma 7:10).
Fact: Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus
(Matt. 1:24,25), but not afterwards (Matt. 13:55,56; Mark 6:3).
Fallacy: Mary remained a virgin for her entire life.
Thats what Catholicism and other similar religious groups
Fact: On the night Jesus was born, an angel of the Lord
informed some shepherds in the region of Bethlehem that the
Christ had been born. Those shepherds went with haste and found
the Babe lying in a manger (Luke 2:16).
Fallacy: The wise men who visited the infant Jesus came
to the manger at the same time the shepherds did. Modern-day
manger scenes portray Joseph, Mary, shepherds, and wise
men all together around baby Jesus in a manger. In truth, when
the wise men/magi arrived where Jesus was, they went into
the house (Matt. 2:11). Again, when the shepherds visited
Him, He was in a manger; by the time the wise men came, He was in
Fact: Wise men came from the East to see Jesus,
bringing Him gifts. They gave Him three types of gifts:
gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:11).
Fallacy: The Bible says there were three wise men who
visited Jesus after He was born. In truth, the Bible does not
tell us how many wise men there were. But, I have always
been told there were three, and even in some of our songs, we
sing that there were three. The Bible does not say so.
But, every picture that you see or every movie about
Jesus birth always shows three wise men. That may be
the case, yet the Bible does not tell us there were three. The
Bible says that wise men came men is
plural, meaning there were at least two. It is possible that
there were three, but it is also possible that there were two or
ten or more. Since the Bible does not say how many wise men, no
human has the right to declare there were three. People need to
stop saying and teaching things they cannot prove. Someone says,
But there were three gifts. Which proves what? It
certainly does not prove how many gift-givers there were. A
loving son might give his mother two different gifts on her
birthday that would be two gifts from only one giver,
right? Here is a Bible example to compare: Jacob sent ten sons to
carry six or seven different types of presents to Joseph in Egypt
(Gen. 43:11). So, the number of givers is not always the same as
the number of gifts given.
Fact: Jesus was born in the days of Herod the
king (Matt. 2:1) and when Augustus was emperor of the Roman
Empire (Luke 2:1). Biblically speaking, it is also true that He
was born when the fullness of the time had come (Gal.
Fallacy: The Bible gives the specific month and day of
Jesus birth. What a surprise it is for some people when they
learn the truth that nowhere does the Bible record in which month
our Lord was born. Come on, everyone knows that Jesus was
born on the 25th of December. No, my friend, not everyone
knows that. In fact, no one knows such a thing it cannot be
proven. There is not a single Bible verse which records either
the month or the day of the month when Jesus was born. Thus, men
ought to stop speculating and misleading people by declaring the
25th of December to be Jesus birthday. Gods
word says no such thing.
Fact: The first-century Christians worshipped on the
first day of every week, and in the process, took the Lords
Supper as a memorial to the death of Jesus (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.
11:23-26). There is no Bible record, however, of any early saints
carrying out a celebration of Jesus birth.
Fallacy: The Bible teaches that believers in Jesus
should celebrate Christmas. The word Christmas is not
in the Bible. The idea of Gods children designating a
special day to celebrate the birth of His Son is not in the
Bible. It is a man-made idea, making worship and service to God
in vain (Mark 7:7; Matt. 15:8-9). The New Testament does not
authorize a religious feast called Christmas, so those
who respect the authority of the Bible will refrain from engaging
in such (Matt. 28:20; Col. 3:17).
We must discern between fact and fallacy. Let us be
content to stick with what the word of God says. Not just on this
subject, but all subjects.
120 Will Lewis Dr. SE
Cleveland, TN 37323
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WE ARE IN NEED OF SALVATION
Garland M. Robinson
All men stand in need of salvation because all men have
sinned (Rom. 3:10,23). When speaking to a man once about the
salvation of his soul, he responded, saved from what?
Many may have asked this same question: saved from what?
What do you mean saved? Webster defines save as:
to deliver from sin; to rescue or deliver from danger or
harm; to preserve or guard from injury, destruction, or
Everyone who has reached the age of accountability
stands in need of the forgiveness of their sins (only the
humbleness and attitude of little children characterize heaven,
Matt. 18:1-4). It is because of sins and transgressions that men
are separated from God! The prophet Isaiah announced this truth,
being guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In Isaiah
59:1-2 we read that God is willing to save us. He is willing to
hear our cries but cannot because our iniquities have
separated us from him, our sins have hid his face from us
that he will not hear. Notice that we have separated
ourselves from him, and not he from us.
God cannot tolerate sin. No sin can be in his presence.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness,
let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither
filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not
convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that
no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an
idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these
things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of
disobedience (Eph. 5:3-6). Mortify therefore
your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness,
inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which
is idolatry: For which things sake the wrath of God cometh
on the children of disobedience (Col. 3:5-6).
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and
murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and
all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with
fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Rev.
Sin destroys! Men are therefore lost and undone
doomed because of it! Sins must be forgiven before entrance can
be gained into eternal bliss. Therefore, will you be saved from
God is willing to save sinful man. He is
longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God
would ...have all men to be saved, and to come unto the
knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4).
There are two parts in mans salvation:
Gods part and mans part. No one will be
saved without both parts being present. God has accomplished his
part. Jesus Christ went to the cross and died for every man (Heb.
2:9) to make it possible for every man to have forgiveness of
sins. Jesus said himself, I have finished the work which
thou gavest me to do (John 17:4). When he hung on the
cross he said, It is finished (John 19:30).
Jesus fulfilled all prophecy concerning himself (the Messiah) and
completed Gods part of the redemptive plan. The only part
lacking is OUR part! God is the one that requires
Sin is against Gods will. Sin bars us from
Gods presence and keeps us out of heaven. If we are not
godly, then we are ungodly. Peter said, ...the heavens
and the earth are... reserved unto fire against the day of
judgement and perdition of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7).
That same destruction belongs to all those who reject Gods
will. Knowing this, Peter writes, ...what manner of
persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [living]
and godliness (2 Peter 3:11). Those who are lost
certainly need to count that Gods longsuffering has given
them another day to repent and be baptized in
order to be saved (2 Peter 3:15). There is no promise of tomorrow
(Prov. 27:1). Right now you can do something about your
souls lost condition. For he saith...behold, NOW is
the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation
(2 Cor. 6:2).
What CAN you do? What MUST you do to be
saved? What must a person do to have their sins removed so that
he/she can stand before God pure and holy, being covered by the
blood of Jesus? There are eight examples of conversion recorded
in the book of Acts. When they are read carefully we notice that:
1) hearing the Gospel (Acts 2:37; 4:4; Rom. 10:17),
2) believing Jesus is the Son of God, the savior (Acts
8:12,37), 3) repenting of sins (Acts 2:38; 17:30),
4) confessing Jesus as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and
being 5) baptized in water (Acts 2:38; 22:16) is essential
to receive forgiveness of sins. In all eight examples we
are specifically told they heard the Gospel and were then
No one of these five things is any more important than
the others and certainly no one of them can be left out. People
must hear (Rom. 10:17) the word of God to have a deep
abiding faith (Heb. 11:6) that leads them to repent
(a change of attitude (heart) and action of life, Acts 17:30).
That being done, they must then confess (Rom. 10:10) they
believe in Jesus as the Son of God and be baptized
(immersed, Acts 2:38) into water for the forgiveness of their
sins. As these five things are completed in baptism, the
individual is raised up from the water to walk a newness of life
(Rom. 6:4). How can one have a newness of life without
being baptized? How can one be a new creature
(2 Cor. 5:17) and all things be new without
being baptized? He cannot! It is in water baptism he
becomes a new person and not before! Water baptism puts one INTO
Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
Salvation is IN Christ (2 Tim. 2:10). How do we
get INTO Christ? The Bible answer is by water baptism.
The only two verses that state this are Romans 6:3 and Galatians
3:27. Both say one is baptized INTO Christ. No place else
is such a statement found! Baptism is the culminating act that
completes ones obedience in the salvation of their soul. Are
you now ready to obey today?
Please study these things and obey Gods will
before its too late!
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DO YOU CARE?
Do you care for your own soul and that of your family and
others? The rich man, described in Luke 16:19-31 as being clothed
in purple and fine linen, who fared sumptuously every day, did
not care at least while he lived in this life. He thought
of nothing but himself, being oblivious to those around him. But,
when he died and opened his eyes on the other side in great agony
and torment, he became incredibly aware of the value of his soul
and the souls of his brothers. However, that realization came too
late! It was too late for him, but not for his brothers. He knew
their time was fast approaching to be there with him. He tried to
get words of warning to them to repent but it couldnt be
done. There is no way to get word from beyond the grave. It
wouldnt do any good anyway. Its through the preaching
of Gods Word that men are saved. Thats why its so
urgent that the word be heralded throughout the world. Unless men
hear, they cannot believe, obey and be saved. NOW, is the
accepted time, NOW is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).
Garland M. Robinson, Editor
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This time of year, we enter what is traditionally called the
holiday season. Likely our busy schedules will become
even more busy, and our hurry up pace will likely become a dead
run for the duration of the year. But still, all in all, this is
a most pleasant season of enjoyment. The reunion with loved ones,
the abundance of food and the expression of thanksgiving during
the holiday season bring joy and happiness to the truly
appreciative. How grateful we should be for the blessings God has
May I suggest two things for your consideration this
holiday season? 1) Consider what you have, not what you lack.
Most of us enjoy material possessions far and above that of the
average world. Be grateful for Gods provisions, and even
more thankful for those little extras that make life
enjoyable. 2) Spend some time to meditate upon Gods goodness
to you. Get off by yourself and say a little prayer to Him from
Whom all blessings flow, and that in rich abundance. 3) Finally,
realize that with increased blessings come increased
responsibility. Read Luke 16:19-27, Matthew 25 and Luke 12:45-48.
Ask yourself if you are properly sharing what you have with those
who have not.
Consider this thought provoking analysis of how blessed
many of us truly are:
If you own just one Bible, you are abundantly blessed.
1/3 of the world does not have access to even one.
If you woke up this morning with more health than
illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not
survive the week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the
loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of
starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people around the world.
If you attend a church meeting without fear of
harassment, arrest or torture of death, you are more blessed that
almost three billion people in the world.
If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your
back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer
than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and
spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the
If your parents are still married and alive, you are
very rare, even in the United States.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and
are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but
most do not.
If you can hold someones hand, hug them or even
touch them on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer
Gods healing touch.
If you prayed yesterday and today, you are in the
minority because you believe in Gods willingness to hear and
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than
over two billion people in the world that cannot read anything at
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
PO Box 8733
Ft. Worth, TX 76124
Table of Contents
SEEKING THE LOST
In one of the clearest passages of the Bible that explains
Jesus mission on this earth, Jesus said, For the Son
of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost
(Luke 19:10). Before His ascension into heaven, Jesus charged His
apostles, saying, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized
shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned (Mark 16:15-16).
The first place in which they would preach the Gospel
of Christ was Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47). After the good news
of salvation was preached in this great city, the apostles
and disciples preached in Judea, Samaria and the rest of the
world (Acts 1:8; 8:12; Col. 1:23).
The charge that Jesus issued nearly 2,000 years ago did
not end with the apostles or the Christians of the first century.
Jesus challenge has been issued to every Christian in every
generation. In Matthews account of the unlimited commission,
Jesus told His apostles, Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all
things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with
you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matt.
28:19-20). The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, And the
things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same
commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others
also (2 Tim. 2:2). Therefore, it is the duty of
every Christian to seek and save the lost.
By making an acrostic out of the word, L-O-S-T, we can
learn some valuable points that will encourage and admonish us to
accept and fulfill this great command of the Lord.
The first letter of the word, LOST, is L
which is also the first letter of the word, LOVE. If
Gods people are going to seek and save the lost,
then they must have love and concern for the souls of others. The
apostle John revealed our true motive for loving God. He wrote,
We love him, because he first loved us (1 John
4:19). The heavenly Father demonstrated His love by designing a
plan of redemption that included the sending of His only begotten
Son into the world (John 3:16). Jesus demonstrated His great love
by being a willing sacrifice upon the cruel cross of Calvary
It is much easier to love someone that reciprocates
that love (Matt. 5:46-48). However, Jesus died on the cross for
sinners, even His enemies (Rom. 5:8-9)! When we reach the
understanding that every man possesses a soul and that soul is
valuable, yea priceless (Matt. 16:26), then we will be motivated
by LOVE for the souls of men and women to seek and save the
The second letter of the word LOST, is the letter
O which is the first letter of the word,
OPTIMISM. Perhaps one reason Gods people fail to
seek and save the lost is that they lack this
ingredient. Skepticism and pessimism are much more common
characteristics in this world. Everyone and everything are under
some kind of suspicion. Based upon the actions of this world,
certainly wisdom dictates that precaution be exercised. Yet,
however wicked this world may be, there is always HOPE that
someone will obey the Gospel. It appears that Ananias was very
skeptical of preaching the Gospel to Saul of Tarsus, yet Saul
obeyed when he heard the Gospel!
Dear reader, have you figured out a formula by which
you can automatically know who will obey the Gospel and who will
not? We are sometimes surprised and also ashamed when people that
are the vilest (in our judgment) obey the Gospel. The only secure
way of pricking the conscience of the honest and sincere is to
preach the gospel to every creature.
We must remember that as proclaimers of the Gospel, it
is our charge to TEACH and PREACH. Conversion is left
to the sinner and the power of the Gospel. The Lord did not
challenge His people to convert the world. He charged
them to preach the gospel. God will give the increase
(1 Cor. 3:6; Isa. 55:11).
The third letter of the word, LOST is S
which is also the first letter of the word, SIN. Could
it be that many brethren hesitate in teaching the Gospel to
others because they are not thoroughly convinced of the
destructive power of sin? Evidence is overwhelming that this may
be the case. When brethren turn to a social gospel
which is a gospel of another kind (Gal. 1:6-9) and believe that
relationships save rather than the gospel, then they
are denying the power of the Gospel to overcome sin (2 Tim. 3:5).
The popular doctrine of Universalism teaches that God
will save everyone regardless of his conduct and behavior. People
who believe this devilish doctrine deny the destructive power of
sin (Rom. 3:10,23; 6:23; James 1:13-15; Rev. 21:8). When we
realize the harm that sin does to the soul, then we will also
recognize the urgency of seeking and saving the lost.
The fourth letter of the word, LOST, is the letter
T which is also the first letter of the word,
TEACH. Men cannot be saved from their sins unless they
are taught the Gospel (John 6:44-45). Jesus life was filled
with action and teaching (Acts 1:1). Gods redemptive plan is
no longer a mystery. It has been revealed through the inspired
word of God (1 Cor. 2:9-13). But men must be taught (Rom. 10:13-
17). Brethren usually are hesitant about teaching others;
however, every Christian has the ability to tell others what to
do to be saved. It is simply a matter of rehearsing what he/she
did to save their own soul in light of the Scriptures.
May each of us do his or her part in reaching the lost
with the soul-saving message of the Gospel.
1001 Albany St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203
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YOU WILL NOT BE SAVED!
Man has sinned and therefore needs salvation (Rom. 3:23;
6:23). God offers salvation to everyone (Rom. 1:16-17; Titus
2:11-12; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). He does not desire for anyone to be
lost (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Yet, in spite of all that the
Lord has done, everyone will not be saved (Matt. 7:13-14; 25:46).
Who will not be saved?
You Will Not Be Saved If You...
Desire not to be. God does not and will not save
anyone against their own will. He does not force anyone to be
saved (Matt. 11:28-30; 1 Tim. 2:4).
Deny God. Notice the words of Hebrew 11:6,
For he that cometh to God must believe that he
is. Psalm 14:1 says, The fool hath said in his
heart there is no God.
Despise the grace of God. No one can be saved
apart from the grace of God (Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:24). To despise
and reject Gods grace is to bring about condemnation on your
soul. But, we also must understand that no one is saved by grace
alone apart from ones obedient faith (Titus 2:11-
Disrespect the Word of God. One must respect and
be filled with reverence for Gods Word to the extent that we
desire to know it and be willing to do whatever it says. It is
all-sufficient when it comes to guiding us to Heaven (2 Peter
1:3; 2 Tim. 3:15-17).
Devise your own plan of salvation. The Gospel of
Christ is Gods power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16-17).
Following our own plans will not work (Jer. 10:23; Rom. 10:1-3).
Determine not to forgive others. But if
ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father
forgive your trespasses (Matt. 6:15). If we are
unforgiving we will not be forgiven by God.
Declare that what you are religiously does not
matter with God. In the book of Acts we see the Jews on the day
of Pentecost (Acts 2), the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), Cornelius
(Acts 10), Paul (Acts 9,11) and Lydia (Acts 16) were religious,
but were religiously wrong. If it matters not what one is
religiously, then why were they called upon to change and obey
Deceive yourself into thinking that living a
good moral life is all that is demanded. Cornelius (Acts 10 and
11) was a good moral man, but he was not saved until he obeyed
the Gospel (Acts 11:14). Being a good moral person is the kind of
person the child of God is to be, but it will not make you a
child of God.
Decide that faith is the only thing necessary to
being saved. Faith is certainly necessary for salvation (John
8:24; Heb. 11:6). But, your faith must be active (work) to bring
about salvation. Faith only will not produce salvation
Depart not from your sins. Jesus makes it very
plain when He said, ...except ye repent, ye shall all
likewise perish (Luke 13:3,5). Without turning from sin,
salvation is impossible (Acts 2:38; 17:30).
Denounce that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will
I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever
shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father
which is in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33).
Decline to be scripturally baptized. Baptism is
essential to salvation. Jesus said, He that believeth and
is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be
damned (Mark 16:16). ...Repent and be baptized
everyone one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins... (Acts 2:38). Arise, and be baptized,
and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord
From these few points, you can see that everyone will
not be saved. How about you? Are you in a saved condition? If
not, do you desire to be? If you are to be saved, you must be
guided by what the Bible declares. Obey the Gospel today while
you have the desire, time and opportunity to do so. That will be
the greatest decision you will ever make in your life.
Believe in Christ, repent of your sins,
confess Christ, be baptized and then live a
faithful life so that Heaven can be your home in the
PO Box 1385
St. Peters, MO 63376
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WHY HELL MUST EXIST
The Biblical doctrine of Hell is perhaps one of the most
repugnant teachings that Christianity offers to the outside world
in the minds of those who stand aloof from the body of Christ. It
is so appraised for a number of reasons. Some believe that the
existence of such a place as Hell is in conflict with the more
amiable characteristics of God, such as His boundless love and
mercy. Some believe that the eternal nature of Hell is unjust in
view of the sins committed in a world limited by space and time.
Still others believe that the prospect of any degree of
punishment for ones misdeeds in this life is overtly cruel
and therefore unworthy of a God of love and compassion. However,
a close examination of Hell both in concept and in Biblical
teaching will reveal that it is not only possible for such a
place as Hell to exist in the scheme of an all-loving,
all-merciful God, but that it is altogether necessary for such a
place to exist.
First, Hell must exist because the enduring and
immutable word of God declares that such a place exists.
Jesus spoke clearly and unmistakably about Hell on several
occasions throughout His earthly ministry: But I say unto
you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause
shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to
his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but
whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell
fire (Matt. 5:22). And if thine eye offend thee,
pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: it is better for thee to
enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be
cast into hell fire (Matt. 18:9). But I will
forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath
killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear
him (Luke 12:5). John also had occasion to describe the
nature and existence of Hell: And death and hell were
cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And
whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into
the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15).
In speaking of those angels who chose a self-seeking
rebellion instead of loyal and devoted service to God, Peter
writes that such were cast into hell and committed to
chains of darkness (2 Peter 2:4). Thus, the Bible
testifies that Hell exists as a place of punishment and wrath. As
the Bible is divinely authored by He who is in a position to know
all things and who in fact prepared Hell for specific recipients
(see Matt. 25:41), we affirm that Hell must exist because
Scripture so informs us.
Second, Hell must exist as an expression of
Gods love. There is no doubt that some will see in this
affirmation a twisted logic of sorts. However, careful reasoning
concerning Gods unbounded love will reveal that such is
unquestionably the case. First John 4:16 affirms that God is
love. However, a key feature of love is its persuasive
wooing instead of an aggressive coercion. Norman L. Geisler, in
his Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, rightly
asserts, A God of love cannot force people to love him
(311). Consequently, there must be a place to receive those
individuals who freely reject Gods love. If He simply forced
Himself upon His creatures and brought them to Heaven against
their will, God would occupy the position of a cosmic rapist who
simply brushed aside the freedom and dignity of humanity in order
to His own gratification. Thus, a God of infinite love will
respect and honor the freedom of His creatures to conscientiously
reject Him if they so choose. Hell must therefore exist as a
place to receive the souls of such individuals for all eternity.
Third, Hell must exist in order for ultimate justice
to prevail. The idea of justice embodies the quality of
being just, impartial, or fair (Justice, def. 2a).
The Hebrew conception of justice involved a state or
condition of fairness in disputes (Swanson, ent. 5477).
Thus, the psalmist proclaims with respect to God, Justice
and judgment [are] the habitation of thy throne (Psa.
89:14). The Greek conception of justice (ekdikesin) is
similar. In his Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic
Domains based upon the Greek New Testament, James Swanson
defines this as the act of giving justice with the
underlying idea of punishment administered on the basis of that
which is rightly deserved (ent. 1689). Thus, Jesus said on one
occasion, And shall not God avenge his own elect, which
cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with
them (Luke 18:7)? Hence, justice is a component of
Gods character, and as such, God must act in accordance with
that nature. For Him to act contrary to His nature, is to
compromise who He is as God. Therefore, there must be a great
retribution for all acts of wickedness left unforgiven. In view
of this, it is not surprising to find Pauls description of
what will transpire at the judgment scene in these terms:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his]
body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or
bad (2 Cor. 5:10). As a result of this necessity, Hell
must necessarily exist as the instrument of divine justice.
The last two reasons given for Hells existence
demonstrate the consistency in the co-existence of Gods
loving mercy alongside His divine wrath and judgment. However,
what shall we say about the charge that the punishment does
not fit the crime? After all, sins are committed in a
temporal world wherein they affect only temporal consequences. A
profane word uttered only requires microseconds to speak in our
space-time universe. Its effects may make a lasting impression
upon others, but even this effect is limited by time. The same
could be said of other sins on a larger scale. Theft only takes a
limited amount of time to perform and only has consequences
limited to the time of this world. Such could also be
said for murder, adultery, or lying. How then can an
eternal punishment be justified for temporal
sins? The answer is incredibly simple. God is eternal (Deut.
33:27). Consequently, our sins remain before the eyes of God as
long as they remain unforgiven. The passage of time does nothing
to erase our sins from Gods memory. Therefore, the one who
dies in their sins will always remain guilty and worthy of
judgment in the mind of God.
When a human being physically dies, the time for
appropriating Gods forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ
will have forever passed. The individual who dies in sin will
therefore receive punishment for as long as that sin clings to
their soul, which in the case of death will be forever. Thus, one
is enabled to understand how sins committed in time can
in fact yield consequences in eternity.
These facts all serve to underscore the extreme urgency
that should attend ones quest for forgiveness. As members of
Christs church, we earnestly implore all who have yet to
receive Gods forgiveness to refrain from delay. The luxury
of waiting for a convenient season (Acts 24:25, ASV) is
illusory. Life is unpredictable and offers no guarantees for the
future (cf. James 4:14-15).
What an unspeakable tragedy to enter into death
unprepared and to confront head-on the horrific reality of an
Geisler, Norman L. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian
Apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1999.
Justice. Merriam-Webster, Inc.
Merriam-Websters Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed.
Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003.
Swanson, James. Dictionary of Biblical Languages
With Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament). Electronic ed.
Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.
Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic
Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament). Electronic ed. Oak Harbor:
Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.
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Belton, KY 42324
Table of Contents
UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE
The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the
Christian Faith. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then
Christians are following a hoax. However, it can be proved that
he did indeed come forth from the grave. Because of this,
Christians have the hope (assurance) of one day being resurrected
also and enjoying eternal life in heaven with him.
Proof for the resurrection is found in the four
accounts of the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Each writer
presents testimony regarding the empty tomb. The New Testament
documents are historically accurate accounts. Over the centuries
they have been repeatedly verified as being without error. The
four accounts of the Gospel were circulated in the first century.
If they were not true or contained errors, people would have
spoken up to discredit them. Paul reminded king Agrippa and
Festus that the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection from
the grave were not done in a corner, but were well known
historial facts (Acts 26:26). Since Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
record the tomb was empty, the modern reader can be sure of it.
The stone door sealing the tomb of Jesus had been
rolled away and His body was gone. Who did it? There are only two
possibilities. Either Jesus was resurrected by God as the Bible
says or his dead body was removed by men. But, who among men
would want to remove his body from the tomb? None would.
Certainly the unbelieving Jews would not want
to. They had specifically requested a guard to watch the tomb.
They knew Jesus had claimed he would rise the third day. They
were even afraid the disciples would come and steal his body to
make it appear he had been resurrected. If they had removed his
body, they could have shown Jesus to be a fake by presenting his
corpse to the public after the tomb was empty on the third day.
But they did not do it because they could not. They did not
remove his body.
The Roman soldiers guarding the tomb would not
steal the body of Jesus. The sepulcher had been sealed and they
had been ordered to keep it secure. Soldiers who had a man to
escape while in their care would lose their lives (cf. Acts
12:18,19; 27:42). Thus, when the body was gone, they were fearful
of what might befall them (Matt. 28:11-15).
The disciples of Jesus would not have stolen the
body. Though the guards were bribed to tell people that his
disciples had taken his body, such a story is full of holes. The
guards were to say they had fallen asleep while on duty. But,
heres the problem. How would sleeping guards know who stole
the body? They would not because they would have been asleep!
Also, consider this. How likely would it be for all the guards to
be asleep at the same time? Even if they had been asleep, would
they not have awakened when they heard someone rolling away the
massive stone that covered the mouth of the tomb? Matthew 28:1-5
shows the guards were quite awake when an angel of the Lord
rolled the stone away. When they saw the angel they became like
dead men. Another thing this passage shows is that the
two Marys came to the tomb at this time. Thus, they would have
seen if the guards were sleeping.
When John came to the tomb the third day and saw that
it was empty, he believed (John 20:8). It is not necessary for
the modern Bible reader to personally see the risen Christ before
he can believe. The risen Savior told Thomas, ...because
thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that
have not seen, and [yet] have believed (John 20:29).
Belief comes by examining the credible evidence found in the
Since men did not remove Jesus body from the tomb,
the only alternative is that Jesus was raised from the dead by
the power of God. Read these verses: Matt. 28:5-7; John 21:14;
Acts 2:22-24,32; 3:15,26; 4:10; 13:30.
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I hope this helps a little. I really enjoy Seek The
Old Paths. It was good to see you. I hope you can keep
preaching for years ...Leona Thomas, Cookeville, TN.
Donald Fifer has passed away ...Ft. Wayne, IN.
Thank you for STOP. I look forward to each one. I have a
brother in Christ to add to your list. I am sending a small
donation to help with postage. Keep up the good work. I wish for
all the very best of lifes blessings ...L. C.
Bigham, Wayne, OK. Please remove Clarence Whitman from
your mailing list. He went home to God in June 2012. Please add
these names to the mailing list ...Sharon Johnson,
Newport, AR. I sent you an email and the computer said
no match found. Please let me know if this is the
correct address. Many thanks for the work that you do for the
Lord ...George M. Walker, Milton, FL. [NOTE: Go to
seektheoldpaths.com and click on the CONTACT US/SUBSCRIBE button
to send us email.] Please remove from your mailing
list ...Barry & Carol Roberts, McMinnville, TN.
Please add this name to your STOP mailing list. Thank you
for your hard work and dedication to the Lord and all the people
that are being reached through STOP ...Patricia Worm,
Conway, AR. Please cancel the Old Paths
publication you send ...name withheld by request, TX.
Please send me Seek The Old Paths
...Para Lee Parris, Kansas City, KS. I greatly
appreciate your publication of Seek The Old Paths
and the article by Leroy Brownlow. I hope in his second edition
of that article he will address the issue of fellowship of those
who have been disfellowshipped. If not then, maybe you would.
Second Thessalonians 3:6 seems to be a forgotten commandment,
especially when it comes to unfaithful family members
...Steve Thayer, Higginsville, MO. [EDITORS NOTE: The
passage you mention is a COMMAND, not an option. It reads,
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that
walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received
of us. Church members (our spiritual brothers and sisters)
who do not live in harmony with the Scriptures are to be
withdrawn from by the brethren the whole church. Those who
walk disorderly, not in step with the New Testament, are to be
disciplined by the church. That means the church (made up of its
members) can no longer have fellowship with that person. Such a
one cannot be used in the public services of the church nor
encouraged or counted as though they were faithful. This is to
shame the individual and protect the other members from their
evil influence (1 Cor. 5:1-11). Those who do not abide by the
churchs scriptural action in withdrawing from the disorderly
member are also to be disciplined. Notice verse 14: And if
any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and
have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Church
discipline is not only for the saving of the soul of the one that
is sinning, it is also to spare the church from that persons
corrupting influence. A little leaven, leavens the whole
lump. It also needs pointing out that were speaking of
a scriptural withdrawal of fellowship by the church.
That is, the individual being withdrawn from is sinning and
refuses to repent. It could be that the church, not the
individual(s), is in sin and the faithful member(s) is attempting
to get the church to repent and come back to the truth.
...editor]. We enjoy having Seek The Old
Paths. But we have lost some and we ask you to please
start sending 20 copies instead of 50. This is a great paper.
Keep up the good work ...Frank Neal, Murfreesboro,
TN. I am an avid reader of your publication, Seek
The Old Paths. I would like to submit a question
regarding an article in the August issue written by Lloyd Gale.
Brother Gale quoted the scripture from Matthew 15:9, but used the
word doctrine in the singular form. The word in the
scripture is doctrines, plural. In 2 John verse 9, the
scripture speaks to the doctrine of Christ (one doctrine).
In Matthew 15:9, In vain they worship me. Teaching as
doctrines the commandments of men (more than one doctrine).
My question is, does this change the meaning of the verse, to use
the singular form in quoting Matthew 15:9? ...Notre Brown,
Alamo, TN. [ANSWER: You are correct in pointing this out.
Thank you. It is a typo that I made and then failed to catch. It
should have been doctrines (plural). The doctrine
of the Lord is singular, one. It is truth and the only truth
(John 17:17; 8:31-32). The doctrines of men are many and
they are all error, false. The KJV reads, But in vain they
do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of
men. The ASV reads, But in vain do they worship me,
Teaching as [their] doctrines the precepts of men.
Editor] Enclosed is a contribution for Seek The
Old Paths. Please add a name to your mailing list
...name withheld by request, OH.
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